Moral high ground
In Gary Livacari’s perfect world, all Democratic candidates for president would simply proclaim President George W. Bush leader-for-life and not even bother trying to replace him. In Livacari’s column on Oct. 23 (Forum: “Downright shameful rhetoric,” p. 5), he expresses outrage with Howard Dean (among others), who dared to call Bush “King George” and stated, “We need to take our country back.” Wow, what an outrage! I’ve never heard of Republicans resorting to such base name-calling and clich?d catchphrases … Oh wait, I did hear that every day for eight years during Bill Clinton’s presidency. Let’s not kid ourselves. The days of civilized politics are long gone, if they ever existed at all, and both sides are to blame. Livacari’s opinion that “political civility and decency were more important than political power” in the past is laughably na?ve. Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy were certainly flawed (they both cheated on their wives and probably committed many other political and social indiscretions that nobody ever talks about today), and cynical name-calling in American politics dates back to the 18th century. To claim that the latest wave of Democrats, who understandably want to liven up their party, is anything new is ludicrous.
In his column, Livacari only touches on actual policies but goes on about some vague notion of moral clarity to which Democrats must return if they want their former glory back. Again, please, let’s not kid ourselves. This is the same line of rhetoric (and, by the way, Livacari seems to think that a great rhetorician equals a great politician) that Republicans such as Bill Bennett (compulsive gambler) and Rush Limbaugh (pill-popper) have been spouting for years. Taking the supposed moral high road is a tired way of attacking Democrats, and usually a hypocritical one.
-Benjamin Hart, senior, Hatchet columnist